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For many, the main point of investing in the stock market is to achieve spectacular returns. While the best companies are hard to find, but they can generate massive returns over long periods. To wit, the United Rentals, Inc. (NYSE:URI) share price has soared 311% over five years. This just goes to show the value creation that some businesses can achieve.
To paraphrase Benjamin Graham: Over the short term the market is a voting machine, but over the long term it's a weighing machine. One flawed but reasonable way to assess how sentiment around a company has changed is to compare the earnings per share (EPS) with the share price.
Over half a decade, United Rentals managed to grow its earnings per share at 16% a year. This EPS growth is lower than the 33% average annual increase in the share price. So it's fair to assume the market has a higher opinion of the business than it did five years ago. And that's hardly shocking given the track record of growth.
The graphic below depicts how EPS has changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).
We're pleased to report that the CEO is remunerated more modestly than most CEOs at similarly capitalized companies. It's always worth keeping an eye on CEO pay, but a more important question is whether the company will grow earnings throughout the years. Dive deeper into the earnings by checking this interactive graph of United Rentals' earnings, revenue and cash flow.
A Different Perspective
It's good to see that United Rentals has rewarded shareholders with a total shareholder return of 104% in the last twelve months. That's better than the annualised return of 33% over half a decade, implying that the company is doing better recently. Given the share price momentum remains strong, it might be worth taking a closer look at the stock, lest you miss an opportunity. While it is well worth considering the different impacts that market conditions can have on the share price, there are other factors that are even more important. For example, we've discovered 2 warning signs for United Rentals that you should be aware of before investing here.
Of course United Rentals may not be the best stock to buy. So you may wish to see this free collection of growth stocks.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on US exchanges.
This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.
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